Find Your Inspiration

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Entrepreneurs are interesting 'types'

They crave independence are incredibly driven and seemingly consume risk like a 5 year old eating smarties! However, one significant quality stands out when we consider the shared traits of successful entrepreneurs. They all see the world differently and find innovative, creative ways to solve problems.

For many business owners, creativity is challenging. It often feels like it's lurking just around the corner and you simply can’t reach it. The more you chase it, the less success you may have in finding it.

Part of the problem is work-life balance. The state of mind that comes with the responsibility and pressures of business ownership, along with family life is counter intuitive to inspiration and creativity.

25 ways to find your inspiration

1. Write It Down: Good ideas, bad ideas, laughably terrible ideas, random musings, dreams, everything. Putting your thoughts on paper makes it easier to go back and find the stroke of genius.

2. Read: Nearly every successful entrepreneur reads voraciously when they're not working. More importantly, they read books, blogs and papers covering subjects outside their industry to widen their knowledge and discover new connections.

3. Find New Surroundings: The physical space around us has a surprising impact on our thought processes. Spending time brainstorming away from the desk can be surprisingly productive.

4. Broaden Your Horizons: Travelling is a great way to see how the rest of the world lives. You can get inspiration from seeing new ways of doing things or discovering needs you didn't know existed.

5. Ask Around: Sometimes it just takes a different perspective. Sites like Quora or Reddit can be great resources to get input from experienced entrepreneurs.

6. Get Your Running Shoes On: Occupying your body with a physical task can stimulate your mind. Take yourself away from thoughts about the past and future and concentrate on a physical task that exists only in the moment. Plus, staying in shape helps you to be more alert and focused.

7. Ditch the Device: Spend some time away from the cell phone and internet so you can focus

8. Question All Assumptions: Don't let any idea slip by without being examined, tested and turned on its head. A useful process is to ask yourself "why" 6 times to help drill down to the fundamental basics.

9. Take Care of Yourself: get enough sleep, eat well, have alcohol free days.

10. Be Open To All Sources: Looking for inspiration from successful entrepreneurs is a good idea, but your team members might have just as much insight.

11. Fail: Sometimes our biggest failures can set the stage for our grandest successes. As Steven Tyler said in a famous Aerosmith song, “You’ve got to lose to know how to win.”

12. Stop Being A Perfectionist: For a moment, allow something to be imperfect. Start acting, even if that means going forward with an idea that isn't totally refined just yet.

13. Have Quiet Time: It might sound a bit 'fluffy' but taking time to be mindful and quiet allows the brain to process your thoughts.

14. Pump Up The Music: And when silence fails, listen to new music for a fresh approach or trigger.

15. Evaluate Your Goals: Maybe your struggle for inspiration is symptomatic of a deeper issue. Are your efforts actually being focused in the right direction?

16. Don't Over Analyze: Spend time brainstorming without scrutinizing your ideas. Throw out anything and everything, then go back later to see if anything makes sense.

17. Browse The Web: The internet is the world's largest and most varied library. Sometimes letting yourself be drawn down a path of links and idle searches can take you to a new and fascinating idea.

18. Study History: History is full of great ideas. What's more, it often contains the processes and the influences behind those great ideas. Tracing the creativity of great minds in the past can help you find new solutions in the present.

19. Never Stop Learning: Take classes in your spare time, read scholarly articles and listen to lectures. The more you learn, the more opportunities you have to make connections and discover new ideas.

20. Look At Your Own Life: Think about problems you encounter on a day-to-day basis. What frustrates you, and how could you potentially remove that frustration?

21. Be Creative in Other Ways: Paint. Write fiction or poetry. Play an instrument. Engaging your artistically creative side can help you find inspiration for creative business ideas.

22. Be The Dumbest Person In The Room: Do your best to surround yourself with people smarter than you. They will push you to come up with new ideas and help you refine them into practical applications.

23. Simplify: Sometimes a lack of inspiration can come from working on too many projects. Cut out extraneous tasks and focus on solving one problem at a time.

24. Tackle Small Problems: If you can't find a creative solution to a big problem, start by working on smaller problems. Take the hills first, build some momentum, and then you might be ready for the mountains.

25. Keep Pushing: Anyone can have one good idea. Unfortunately, you need a lot of good ideas to make a business work. The best entrepreneurs relentlessly follow up on their first idea and keep picking away at new problems for as long as it takes.

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose"  Dr Seuss